Narrative Lectionary: Ash Wednesday (Mark 9:30-37) and Lent One–All You Have (Mark 10:17-31)

This week is a twofer! Ash Wednesday is tomorrow and we begin Lent with this passage from Mark 9:30-37. Working Preacher commentary here.  While Jesus tries to teach the disciples about the suffering, betrayal, and death that he’s heading toward, the disciples are arguing about which of them is the greatest. Not their finest moment,… Read More

Sunday Prayer: Mountaintops

We climb the mountain to wait. Surrounded by a cloud, we wait. While the nations conspire, we wait. When brightness overwhelms us, we wait. Through the long night, we wait. Until the Spirit speaks, we wait. As we wait, we are already: your witnesses, your inheritance, your collaborators, your beloved vessels, your anointed, your freedom.… Read More

Friday Festival

Remembering her own mountaintop journeys prompts Martha Spong to reflect on the mystery of the Transfiguration.  She poses an interesting question about what the disciples – and we – perceive. “In this era of propaganda and marketing, social media and political campaigns, our perceptions are being messed with all the time. What are we noticing? Has truth changed? How… Read More

11th Hour Preacher Party: Making the Best of It

Last Saturday, I spent the day at an all-day meeting for my Presbytery. But, to make the best of it, I left home early enough to enjoy an hour at the beach nearby! (Incidentally, this portion of our coast was hit hard by Hurricane Harvey in 2017. They are still in recovery from physical damage… Read More

Ask the Matriarch: Congregation Negatively Impacted by Former Pastor

One of the most difficult and courageous things a pastor will ever do is discerning when it is time to leave a congregation. Even more difficult are the follow-up actions of leaving well, leaving completely, and supporting the new pastor of your former congregation. The following story is real, all-too-common, and deeply painful. Dear Matriarchs:… Read More

Wednesday Prayer

February, God.  February. February teaches us – yet again – your surprises.  The shortest month feels like the longest, shaming us when the Christmas box is still out, while we plan for Lent.  The shortest month feels like the longest, God, testing our hope, in this in-between time.  We would shorten the strange weather, and… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Who's Corban? Whose Corban? (Mark 7:1-23)

Once my children went to preschool and then on to kindergarten, they were very alert to hand washing. Now, of course, I taught them to wash their hands after the potty and before eating, etc., but school and teachers brought that lesson into full force. I do utterly and completely believe in hand washing, but… Read More